REMEMBERING TIM RUSSERT: 1950-2008 - Broadcasting & Cable

REMEMBERING TIM RUSSERT: 1950-2008

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Friends, colleagues and admirers share thoughts and remembrances of the NBC newsman, who died Friday at 58. To share your own, click here.

As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history of television, he was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades. Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it.

Those of us who knew and worked with Tim, his many friends, and the millions of Americans who loyally followed his career on the air will all miss him. — President George W. Bush



We are heartbroken at the sudden passing of Tim Russert. We have lost a beloved member of our NBC Universal family and the news world has lost one of its finest. The enormity of this loss cannot be overstated. More than a journalist, Tim was a remarkable family man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Maureen, their son, Luke, and Tim's entire extended family.— Jeff Zucker, CEO, NBC Universal



This is a loss for the entire nation. Everyone at NBC News is in shock and absolutely devastated. He was our respected colleague, mentor and dear friend. Words can not express our heartbreak. Our thoughts and prayers are with Maureen, Luke, Big Russ and all of Tim's family. — Steve Capus, president, NBC News



Everyone at GE and at NBC Universal is devastated by the loss of our colleague and friend, Tim Russert. Tim was a giant in journalism and a face and a voice that America trusted. He earned that trust through hard work, love of his profession and, above all, through his enduring honesty and integrity. And most important, Tim was a wonderful human being who valued family and friends over all. We will miss him greatly. My sincerest sympathies go out to Tim's family and to the many people whose lives he touched.— Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric



Tim Russert was a great newsman who helped to set the standard for political reporting and public-affairs programming. His fine work made all of us better and benefited the nation as a result. Tim was also a great friend to so many of us. But above all, Tim was a man devoted to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and everyone at NBC News at this devastating time. — David Westin, president, ABC News



Tim loved everything about politics and journalism -- because he believed in it. Every day he brought Washington home to his viewers and made all of us better. My thoughts and prayers are with his family -- especially Maureen, Luke and his father Russ. — George Stephanopoulos, host, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News



Tim projected vitality -- always excited about the stories he covered and intrigued by the people he interviewed. That's what made him so good, and his passing so hard to absorb. His competitors -- just like his co-workers -- held Tim in the highest of regard. — Charles Gibson, anchor, World News with Charles Gibson, ABC News



Tim Russert was a great competitor and a good friend. I am obviously shocked and dismayed by this news and extend my thoughts and prayers to his son Luke -- he was so proud of you -- to his wife Maureen and to the rest of his family; especially his beloved father. Tim and I worked together on Catholic causes, and I will greatly miss him. — Cokie Roberts, ABC News



No one could see Tim in a room and not smile. He brought so much joy and curiosity and sheer vitality to all our lives. As a journalist, he would set out like a great explorer. You couldn't wait to see what he discovered every day in the new world. He was a defining American newsman. Love of country, love of family poured through him onto the screen, into the work, into stories at dinner, into the little chuckle that reminded us aren't we lucky to be here in this big life. — Diane Sawyer, anchor, Good Morning America, ABC News



There is no one who knew Tim, and that includes millions of Americans who felt that they knew him, too, who isn’t deeply shocked and saddened by his death. Tim was everyone’s idea of what a journalist should be and he made us proud. He interviewed me just one month ago for his weekly television show and much of our conversation had to do with his love for his father, Russ, and his son, Luke. My heart goes out to his wife, Maureen, and to Luke and Russ. — Barbara Walters



Tim’s passing is a loss not only to his family and many friends, it is a loss to good journalism and to our country. Tim, first and foremost, was devout in his faith and deeply devoted to his family. He loved his country with a passion and became a classic example of the ideal American journalist. Tim had become an important part of our political process. He will be especially missed in this historic presidential election year.

Tim Russert was a beacon of quality journalism. At a time when quality journalism is in increasingly short supply, Tim Russert was a leader for what is best in American journalism. He was tough but fair, pulled no punches, played no favorites. As an interviewer, he had few, if any, peers. — Former CBS anchor Dan Rather



"I am very saddened by Tim Russert's sudden death. Cindy and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the Russert family as they cope with this shocking loss and remember the life and legacy of a loving father, husband and the pre-eminent political journalist of his generation. He was truly a great American who loved his family, his friends, his Buffalo Bills and everything about politics and America. He was just a terrific guy. I was proud to call him a friend and, in the coming days, we will pay tribute to a life whose contributions to us all will long endure." — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)



"I have known Tim Russert since I first spoke at the convention in 2004. He is somebody who, over time, I came to consider not only a journalist but a friend. There wasn't a better interviewer in television, not a more thoughtful analyst of our politics, and he was also one of the finest men I knew." — Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)



Anyone who knew Tim Russert personally and the millions who knew him from his years at NBC News knew that he loved life and lived every moment of it. Even though he had reached the professional pinnacle of the political news world, you always knew and he always knew that he was just a kid from Buffalo and he never forgot it.

Tim was genuinely charming but, as anyone who came to the set of Meet the Press unprepared can tell you, he was direct, tough and gave no quarter. His experience working with Gov. Mario Cuomo and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan gave him an insight few in the journalism world can match.

It is particularly poignant to lose such a dedicated father and a son who so honored his father in his book “Big Russ and me” just before Father’s Day.

Tim’s life serves as a model and a reminder for everyone to cherish the ones you love.

I considered him my friend and I will miss him. Callista and I are praying for him and those who loved him. — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)

Tim Russert was so many different things.

Tim was a big teddy bear of a guy, but he was also a pit bull of an interviewer. He always held people's feet to the fire, often using their past words with great effect to reveal flip-flops or hypocrisy. While Tim was incredibly tenacious, he always did his job with great humanity and respect.

Tim was passionate about the political process and was, in many ways, the navigator-in-chief for so many people. Because he was so knowledgeable, he was able to make politics accessible to millions.

Tim gave me my first network break. I was a local reporter at WRC in Washington, which shares a building with the NBC Washington bureau. Tim asked me to come to his office one day and told me he admired my work, particularly my coverage of Marion Barry, who was then the mayor of D.C. He liked my "scrappiness" and asked if I was interested in becoming the deputy Pentagon correspondent.

He was one of the nicest, most generous colleagues I ever had the pleasure of working with.

I remember when Tim arranged a visit with the Pope when the Today show was in Rome, and Tim was the one behind the scenes making it happen. And I remember he was so full of pride.

He never forgot where he came from. In his heart, he was a kid from Buffalo who made it to the big time -- but never got “too big for his britches,” as my mother would say.

I think he used his Dad, Big Russ, to take the temperature of the country. And I remember how he used to call him to ask questions and get feedback.

But Tim really didn't have to do that because he was the consummate everyman who loved his family -- who was so proud of his wife Maureen and his son Luke -- and loved the Buffalo Bills, and this country. -- Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and correspondent, 60 Minutes

All of us at CBS News are incredibly saddened by this shocking news. Tim Russert was a giant in our industry and was universally respected for his talent as a journalist, his perspective and his integrity. There wasn't a better interviewer on television, someone who was tough but always fair. There is today a void in our industry and in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of his many colleagues. -- Sean McManus, president, CBS News and Sports

Tim was the best of our profession. He asked the best questions and then he listened for the answer. We became very close friends over the years. He delighted in scooping me and I felt the same way when I scooped him. When you slipped one past ol’ Russert, you felt as though you had hit a home run off the best pitcher in the league. I just loved Tim and I will miss him more than I can say, and my heart goes out to his son, Luke, and his wife, Maureen. -- Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and anchor, Face the Nation.

Broadcast journalism lost one of its greats today. Tim Russert was a giant in our field -- a standard-bearer of journalistic integrity and ethics. His masterful interviews and round-table discussions are legendary. This is a tragic loss for journalism and for all who were privileged to know him. -- Walter Cronkite

I met Tim when I first came to NBC 22 years ago. He was a fireball of news energy. He loved life, his wife Maureen and his son Luke. There was no news assignment that he wasn't part of. Our Washington bureau was forever changed by his presence and management. Meet The Press was reborn with Tim and continues today as his signature program. Tim was a big part of the launch of MSNBC, the Today show's political coverage, Nightly News and all of NBC's political coverage. He was generous, thoughtful, inspired and a tireless journalist who will never be forgotten! -- Bob Wright, former chairman and CEO, NBC Universal

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